Bob Hope dá seu último show no Vietnã

Bob Hope dá seu último show no Vietnã

O comediante Bob Hope dá o que ele diz ser seu último show de Natal para os EUA. Hope foi um comediante e estrela de palco, rádio, televisão e mais de 50 longas-metragens.

Hope foi uma das muitas estrelas de Hollywood que seguiram a tradição de viajar ao exterior para entreter as tropas americanas estacionadas no exterior. O programa de 1972 marcou a nona aparição consecutiva de Hope no Natal no Vietnã. Hope endossou o bombardeio do Presidente Nixon no Vietnã do Norte para forçá-lo a aceitar os termos de paz dos EUA e recebeu a maior medalha civil do Vietnã do Sul por seu "zelo anticomunista". Embora alguns manifestantes anti-guerra tenham criticado Hope por apoiar as políticas do governo no Vietnã, o comediante disse acreditar que era sua responsabilidade levantar o ânimo entretendo as tropas.

Também neste dia: o presidente Nixon suspende a Operação Linebacker II por 36 horas para marcar o feriado de Natal. A campanha de bombardeio contra o Vietnã do Norte estava em operação desde 18 de dezembro, quando Nixon iniciou a campanha para forçar os norte-vietnamitas a voltar às negociações de paz em Paris. Em 28 de dezembro, os norte-vietnamitas anunciaram que voltariam a Paris se Nixon acabasse com o bombardeio. A campanha de bombardeio foi interrompida e os negociadores se encontraram durante a primeira semana de janeiro. Eles rapidamente chegaram a um acordo - os Acordos de Paz de Paris foram assinados em 23 de janeiro e um cessar-fogo entrou em vigor cinco dias depois.


Bob Hope

Acho que papai adoraria ser lembrado como alguém que faz as pessoas rirem. Particularmente como alguém que abraçou um país que não era o seu país de nascimento e que o amava enormemente e queria retribuir àquelas pessoas que estavam dispostas a colocar suas vidas em risco por seu país. & # 8211 Linda Hope

Nascido na Inglaterra e criado em Ohio, Bob Hope originalmente entrou no show business fazendo trabalhos de vaudevillian e comédia. Sua ética de trabalho do meio-oeste o empurrou para o comédia stand-up, Broadway, filmes e música. O estilo único de dança de Hope trouxe alegria para milhões e a capacidade de fazer tudo sem dúvida fez de Bob Hope um homem digno de ser lembrado. No entanto, o que o distinguiu e estabeleceu seu legado foi seu compromisso com os militares que serviram no exterior. O apoio inabalável de Hope às tropas lhe valeu o privilégio único de ser nomeado um "Veterano Honorário" pelo Secretário de Assuntos dos Veteranos.

O início . . .

Quando Hope ouviu sobre o bombardeio de Pearl Harbor, ele queria fazer um show para os militares e retribuir aos homens e mulheres que serviam nas forças armadas de nosso país. Ao fazer isso, ele tomou uma decisão que alteraria para sempre o curso de sua carreira. Hope levou seu show para a estrada, transmitindo de bases militares por todo o país. Seu compromisso com o esforço de guerra continuou quando ele se juntou à Caravana da Vitória de Hollywood, ajudando a arrecadar dinheiro para os Fundos de Ajuda do Exército e da Marinha. Em 1941, quando a Rádio das Forças Armadas iniciou sua própria programação, Hope assinou. Em 1942, enquanto visitava membros do serviço militar no Alasca, ele disse aos repórteres: “Sim, Hollywood não verá tanto Hope daqui em diante. Eu tenho outros planos. ”

As viagens de Hope de 1941 a 1991 o levaram em 57 viagens com a USO enquanto ele entretinha as tropas em todos os principais conflitos militares, incluindo a Segunda Guerra Mundial, a Guerra da Coréia, a Guerra do Vietnã e a Operação Tempestade no Deserto (Guerra do Golfo Pérsico). Um militar lembrou: & # 8220Hope era engraçado, tratando hordas de soldados com gargalhadas. Ele era amigável - [ele] comia com militares, bebia com eles, lia seu doggerel, ouvia suas canções. Conseqüentemente, os meninos que Hope poderia entreter por uma hora anteciparam sua chegada por semanas. E quando ele veio, caras anônimos que não tinham outro reconhecimento se sentiram pessoalmente lembrados. & # 8221

Sua força estava na capacidade de relacionar-se com o humor nos dias mais sombrios e na clareza de sua compaixão pelas tropas que serviam no exterior. Essas forças viriam a servi-lo melhor durante a Guerra do Vietnã, quando nosso país não tinha certeza de onde sintonizar, o que desligar e, em alguns dias, até onde localizar uma risada.

Já em 1962, Hope pediu para visitar o Vietnã e recebeu luz verde do presidente Johnson após o Incidente no Golfo de Tonkin em 1964. Hope e sua tripulação foram para o Vietnã em meados de dezembro, ficaram para entreter as tropas durante o Natal e depois voltou para casa. Seus monólogos estavam cheios de piadas sobre ser confundido com um soldado, "Que boas-vindas fui no aeroporto ... Eles pensaram que eu era um substituto." E frequentemente referia-se ao inimigo: "E, aliás, se houver algum vietcongue na platéia, lembre-se de que já dei minhas tacadas." Essas linhas receberam aplausos dos meninos abaixo, enfrentando essas consequências muito reais.

As filmagens das apresentações de Hope ao longo de sua turnê foram produzidas em especiais de TV transmitidos posteriormente nos Estados Unidos. Enquanto Hope contava piadas no palco, as câmeras mostravam jovens uniformizados, alguns feridos e todos rindo, desfrutando de um momento mais leve com os amigos antes de retornar à realidade do Vietnã. Uma mãe sortuda pode ver a imagem de seu filho, um membro do serviço ainda mais sortudo pode ser chamado ao palco para ter a oportunidade de apresentar Bob Hope ou receber uma saudação de casa. Naquele ano, o especial de Natal terminou no Vietnã da mesma forma que todos os futuros especiais, com a multidão cantando suavemente “Noite Silenciosa”. Um final sombrio para uma noite repleta de risos alegres.

Ao transmitir o especial em casa, nos Estados Unidos, Hope anexou sua homenagem e agradecimento aos meninos no exterior. Essas peças continuariam e ofereceriam uma visão não apenas dos sentimentos de Hope sobre as tropas, mas também sobre o envolvimento dos Estados Unidos na guerra. Sua retórica em 1964 lembrava a de muitos em casa, que pensavam que a guerra terminaria com uma vitória rápida: "Eles (os militares americanos) não vão desistir & # 8211 porque sabem se sairão desse obstáculo de bambu Claro que seria como dizer aos comunistas - 'Venham e peguem'. “

Hope voltou para o Vietnã e, com o aumento do número de tropas, continuou a ver aumentos no comparecimento a seus shows. Ele usou isso como material de brincadeira: “No ano passado, vocês foram todos conselheiros. Agora que você viu aonde isso nos levou, talvez você mantenha sua armadilha fechada. " Ele também continuou piadas sobre rações militares. “O Pentágono realmente deu tudo de si neste vôo. Eles até mostraram um filme. Foi muito emocionante - 300 maneiras de cozinhar rações 'C' ”e sua própria falta de serviço,“ Vejo onde eles acabaram com minha velha classificação da Segunda Guerra Mundial & # 8211 4z ... Isso é 'covarde consciencioso'. uma invasão, fico atrás das linhas e empurro Jackie Gleason ao redor de Bing Crosby. ” Hope começou a sugerir um crescente descontentamento nos Estados Unidos, brincando: “Tivemos todos os tipos de manifestação nos Estados Unidos ... Saia do Vietnã, Não saia do Vietnã, Por que você não volta para onde você veio e “Eu vim do Vietnã”.

Em An Khe, Bob puxou o especialista Brian H. O’Connell para o palco, “Aqui está uma foto de gêmeos. Seus gêmeos que ele nunca viu. Bem aqui. E eu só quero que você dê uma olhada nessas crianças. Essa é a primeira vez que ele os vê. Aqueles ... ”, mas Hope não conseguiu terminar seu monólogo, pois os gritos e aplausos do público o abafaram. Ao longo do programa, houve momentos como este, em que o seu amor pelos militares era evidente. Continuamente, ele lhes dava um olhar sobre a vida que os esperava em casa e os lembrava pelo que estavam lutando.

Quando o especial foi ao ar em casa, e as piadas foram contadas, e Silent Night foi cantada, Hope ofereceu sua homenagem: “Nossos guerreiros têm confiança nas decisões de seus líderes. É difícil para eles ouvirem os rumores da paz sobre o tiroteio, mas quando a paz vier, eles vão recebê-la bem. " Afastando-se das piadas, Hope ofereceu um gentil lembrete de que esses “garotos” estavam entregando a confiança de seus “líderes”, mas precisavam que o público americano também os apoiasse.

Em 1966, os homens lotaram os telhados, escalaram o topo dos postes de luz e se moveram sob o palco & # 8211, tudo para dar uma olhada em Bob Hope. Seus especiais no Vietnã traziam humor e alegria para o exterior. Ele chamava homens para o palco, muitas vezes fazendo piadas sobre seus estados natal, times esportivos, ou lendo para eles bilhetes de casa que terminavam com um beijo de uma garota que viajava, ou até mesmo do próprio Hope. Outro de seus assuntos favoritos para o ridículo & # 8212 oficiais graduados.

“Esta base é carregada com latão. Você não pode andar um metro e meio sem saudar. Eles têm mais caras no hospital com cotovelo de tenista do que com estilhaços. ”

Hope sabia que piadas sobre os homens no comando sempre traziam muitas risadas, oferecendo aos militares de escalão inferior a chance de se solidarizarem uns com os outros. Enquanto Hope se dirigia para mais paradas no Vietnã do que nunca, ele nunca hesitou em falar sobre os protestos e frustrações do que estava acontecendo em casa. “O país está atrás de você, 50%”, ele brincou com Cu Chi. Em seguida, “Na verdade, o departamento de defesa era muito esportivo. Este ano, eles me deram minha escolha de zona de combate ... Vietnã ou Berkeley. ”

Olhando para o seu comentário e os muitos protestos que se formavam em todo o país na época, a frustração de Hope com a falta de apoio não era incomum, mas sim no mesmo nível de tantos outros. O tributo de Hope em 1966 veio com uma mensagem de reflexão para o povo americano: "Ninguém queria esta guerra, mas ela está aqui e não podemos desejar que ela acabe. Não há solução fácil ... os meninos que lutam no Vietnã querem paz tanto quanto nós, e eles estão lutando para consegui-la. ” Por meio dessas palavras, podemos ouvir o apelo ao povo americano sobre a importância de separar a guerra do guerreiro. Bob Hope percebeu que o crescente descontentamento em casa estava ficando turvo e se transformando em um crescente descontentamento para aqueles que lutavam na guerra, e para ele essa nunca foi uma opção. O compromisso de Hope com aqueles que serviram foi absoluto.

Crédito: AP / Shutterstock
Bob Hope e Raquel Welch dividem o palco enquanto entretêm as tropas no Vietnã em 1967.

Em 1967, com o número de tropas aumentando, Hope brincou: “Olhe para esses gatos ... eles estão deitados com seus corpos sob o palco e seus rostos olhando para mim”. A câmera mostrou os membros do serviço com suas cabeças para fora e, em seguida, os milhares na multidão, evidente que a popularidade de Hope estava sempre aumentando no Vietnã. Piadas sobre agências de serviço & # 8211 “E nós temos a 101ª Aerotransportada aqui hoje. A única roupa no Vietnã que viaja por Yo Yo. ” Em trabalhos individuais, "Você sempre pode dizer aos pilotos de helicóptero ... Eles são os que ainda estão fazendo o Watusi meia hora depois de pousarem." - gerando risadas tão fortes que Hope muitas vezes tinha que esperar vários segundos antes de ser capaz de ir em frente. Foi a familiaridade de Hope com a situação do tempo de guerra e sua capacidade de olhar para ela como um estranho que lhe garantiu a capacidade de se conectar com os membros do serviço.

Hope continuou com humor sobre as zonas de perigo da guerra: “E os caras adoram aqui porque Da Nang tem uma localização maravilhosa. É muito útil para o centro de Hanói. ” E a área em que se apresentava, ao se referir à Tailândia, “este país nunca foi conquistado. E não é de admirar ... Ninguém consegue passar por esse tráfego. ” Num humor regional como este, os militares riram, mas também aplaudiram e aplaudiram como se alguém finalmente estivesse falando sobre as realidades locais que só eles podem entender. Foi engraçado para nós em casa, mas para eles também foi uma catarse a oportunidade de rir de uma situação às vezes insuportável à qual era preciso sobreviver. A esperança tornou essa situação identificável e, portanto, suportável.

O ano também trouxe a discussão de protestos em casa, "Homens, eu trago a vocês ótimas notícias da terra da liberdade ... Ainda está lá ... Você pode ter que cruzar uma linha de piquete para ver, mas está lá." É aqui que Hope mencionou pela primeira vez que os militares podem enfrentar desafios com os civis ao voltar para casa e talvez previu alguns dos problemas que enfrentariam nos Estados Unidos. Bob encerrou o especial de 1967 com uma visita a um hospital, “O grande assunto da conversa é quantos dias você ainda tem? A maioria dessas crianças tem tatuado em seus olhos. ” E “apesar dos milhões de palavras faladas e escritas, sabemos que não há respostas fáceis para este conflito. Mas deve haver uma resposta ... Esperamos e rezamos para que em breve a paz pela qual todos ansiamos se torne uma realidade. ”

Em 1968, os americanos viveram um dos períodos mais tumultuados da história americana. À medida que as tensões se dissipavam em casa, Hope trouxe isso à tona em seus programas no exterior, "Eu gostaria de passar o Natal nos Estados Unidos, mas não suporto a violência" e "no ano passado eles estavam queimando seus cartões de recrutamento ... este ano e # 8211 são as escolas. ” Oferecendo conselhos bem-humorados aos membros do serviço, Hope afirmou: “Então, quando você se reunir, guarde seu rifle ... Se você for para a escola sob o GI Bill, pode ter que recapturá-lo primeiro.” Hope também brincou sobre o fim da presidência de Johnson: "E é claro que desejo a LBJ toda a sorte do mundo, ele passou por um período difícil, você sabe. Na verdade, outro dia ele foi ao Lincoln Memorial e olhou para Abe e disse, 'você teve uma guerra ... você teve um problema de direitos civis ... o que posso fazer?' A voz disse: 'Não vá ao teatro.' ”Os programas de Hope estavam mais tingidos com a realidade de casa do que nunca e ofereceu aos membros do serviço uma oportunidade de ver o apoio que a USO e Hope continuaram a oferecer.

No final do especial de 1968, Hope declarou: “As discussões sobre nossa postura no Vietnã continuam e continuam. Os acertos e erros estão sendo debatidos e continuarão a ser debatidos por anos. Mas uma coisa não é discutível ... e essa é a contribuição que nossos homens deram no Vietnã. Sua coragem, sua bondade, sua humanidade e seu sacrifício nunca podem ser desfeitos. Agora faz parte da história. ” É aqui que Hope trabalhou para agarrar de ambos os lados do corredor, "quer você apoie o conflito ou não, os jovens que propusemos para lutar nele devem receber nosso apoio comprometido". Ele terminou com "Mas aqui estávamos nós de novo, e em algum lugar ao longo do caminho percebi que estávamos presos em uma espécie de areia movediça ... que não havia fim à vista, e que estávamos pagando um preço muito alto em nosso melhor natural recurso ... nossa juventude. ” Vez após vez, vimos a capacidade de Hope de separar a guerra do guerreiro e seu compromisso e apoio inabalável às pessoas no terreno que lutam nas batalhas. Hope reconheceu a “areia movediça” em que nosso país estava se envolvendo, mas ele se recusou a ser sugado, preferindo torcer pelos homens e mulheres de serviço que sempre apoiou.

Hope partiu em 1969, 21 anos após sua primeira viagem USO à Alemanha com 80 outros artistas e nove países para tocar. Antes de partirem, Hope e sua trupe fizeram um ensaio geral na Casa Branca, brincando: “Nunca fiz um show completo na Casa Branca, embora não esteja reclamando. Alguns atos levaram doze anos para fazê-lo ”, provando que nem mesmo o comandante-chefe, Richard Nixon, estava a salvo de suas farpas.

Seus tópicos sobre as bases incluíam o novo projeto de loteria, que havia entrado em vigor recentemente. “E para a informação de vocês companheiros para rotação - eles acabaram de ter um novo sorteio de loteria e se você correr para casa, pode ganhá-lo! Eu sei que vocês estão todos entusiasmados com o novo projeto de loteria. A grande emoção para você é saber que é o vencedor do ano passado! ” Hope também foi atrás da questão problemática de um Laos neutro discutido, onde a trilha Ho Chi Minh corria e que estava sendo usada por soldados inimigos para transportar suprimentos. Em Nakhon Phanom, Hope declarou: “Neste momento, estamos apenas a cerca de 4 milhas do rio Mekong e a apenas 14,5 km do Laos neutro. Sim senhor. Sim senhor. E se você ouvir com atenção, poderá ouvir as tropas neutras carregando a munição neutra pela trilha neutra de Ho Chi Minh. ” Nessas piadas, os sentimentos cínicos de alguns membros do serviço militar receberam voz e risos para ajudar a superar uma área cinzenta.

O tributo de Hope em 1969 afirmava: “Muitas pessoas me perguntam se eu percebi alguma mudança em nossa situação este ano em relação ao ano passado. Uma coisa nunca muda ... o inacreditável bom espírito de nossos guerreiros. A única coisa que se qualifica como business as usual é o humanitarismo incurável de nosso G.I. O número de pessoas que dedicam seu tempo livre, energia e dinheiro para ajudar famílias vietnamitas e cuidar de órfãos seria uma surpresa para você. Ou talvez não - eu acho que você sabe que tipo de cara são seus irmãos e as crianças da casa ao lado. " É aqui que Hope conclamou o povo americano a se lembrar das crianças de bom coração que enviaram para o exterior. Ele não estava "apregoando" a guerra, mas sim pedindo aos americanos que pensassem nos militares como as pessoas de bom coração que eles enviaram para o Vietnã.

Ele continuou: “Essas crianças estão preocupadas com o moral em casa. Se você quer saber quem está no comando da moral na frente de guerra, você é. E o que esses caras lêem nos jornais e ouvem na TV dizendo que você está por trás deles é como um grande transplante de coração de você para eles. ” “São homens que arriscam suas vidas todos os dias. E em troca eles pedem uma coisa ... tempo para fazer um trabalho. Para que sejamos pacientes, que acreditemos neles, para que possam nos trazer uma paz honrosa. ” Hope terminou 1969 com uma tarefa para os americanos, "acreditar neles". A fila, que parecia tão pequena na época, viria a mostrar a divisão para tantos membros do serviço que voltaram para casa em situações hostis.

1970, 1971 e 1972

A turnê USO de 1970 começou com um ensaio geral em West Point, Hope declarando: "Não, não vi tanto cinza desde que desmaiei na convenção do carteiro". Em Da Nang, Hope declarou: “Esta é a nossa sétima viagem aqui. Não é incrível a influência que tenho com o Departamento de Defesa? Não, esta é a única base do Vietnã com trânsito rápido. Há um foguete indo para qualquer lugar que você quiser ... e alguns lugares que você não quer. ” Em Long Binh, Hope sugeriu a retirada das tropas: “Esta é a maior instalação militar do Vietnã com 25 mil homens. E com todas as retiradas de tropas, estou surpreso de ver alguém aqui. Foi legal da sua parte ficarem por aqui só para mim. ” Aquela piada, "foi legal da sua parte ficarem só para mim" apareceu até o fim das viagens de Bob Hope ao Vietnã em 1972. A percepção de que os membros do serviço estavam voltando para casa foi um reconhecimento feliz para ele, e ele usou em seu show novamente e novamente.

Hope não se conteve com seu material típico, mantendo-se político em 1971 com: “Vocês têm sorte. Você sabe que vai voltar para casa. Mas que esperança há para nossos homens nas conversações de paz em Paris? ” e em 1972 "Eles não só não conseguiram chegar a um acordo em Paris ... mas agora estão brigando pela conta do hotel." Ainda havia piadas sobre oficiais graduados, "Há tantos chefões aqui, os soldados dormem em atenção". E seu uso clássico de si mesmo como uma piada: “Estou aqui para compartilhar o Natal com você. E aposto que alguns de vocês estavam com medo de não comer um peru, hein? " Os clássicos ainda traziam risadas, mesmo de uma plateia murcha.

Em 1970, Hope declarou: “Todos concordam que a mais impopular das guerras durou muito tempo. Mas agora, pela primeira vez, podemos ver a luz no fim do túnel. Eles estão voltando para casa, embora nunca rápido o suficiente quando alguém que você ama está envolvido. ” Em 1972, “Mas desta vez no Vietnã, nos deparamos com uma situação que normalmente tiraria o coração de qualquer artista, mas que para nós era motivo de alegria. Quero dizer - grupos de assentos vazios durante nossos shows no Da Nang e Camp Eagle ... porque cada assento vazio significava um cara que voltou para casa, um soldado que voltou para "o mundo". Hope não estava mais pedindo ao povo americano para apoiar a ação no exterior, mas para dar as boas-vindas e homenagear os meninos que voltaram para casa. Seu compromisso com eles ficou evidente em sua última despedida em 1972, onde afirmou: "Nunca os esqueceremos ... Os 'ratos do rio" em Dong Tam, a "poeira apagada" em Cu Chi, os' verdes alegres 'e os 'sandys' em Nakaon Phanom, os grunhidos em Pleiku, os fuzileiros navais em Da Nang e Chu Lai e todos os pilotos de caça nos porta-aviões na estação yankee no Mar da China Meridional: E apenas algumas manchetes atrás, os tripulantes do B-52 que enfrentaram os céus do Vietnã do Norte, todos enfrentaram o desafio com uma coragem fantástica e bom humor ”. Hope mencionou equipes específicas e permitiu que os meninos que assistiam em casa soubessem que suas vidas nesses locais pequenos e freqüentemente desconhecidos eram conhecidos por ele por causa de sua bravura e de seu serviço. Forçando o povo americano a refletir sobre os ramos de serviço que lutam no Vietnã como mais do que apenas uma experiência monolítica. Os apelidos e locais nos lembravam da vasta guerra em que nos envolvemos e dos riscos em que enviamos nossos filhos para combatê-la.

Numa época em que tantos americanos estavam divididos por causa da Guerra do Vietnã, eles não estavam divididos por Hope. Em 1970, Hope atraiu 46,6% dos lares americanos para seu especial de janeiro, o maior especial de televisão já transmitido. Enquanto os americanos assistiam aos militares lutando no noticiário noturno todas as noites, Bob Hope ofereceu uma perspectiva diferente. Ele trouxe filhos, irmãos e maridos de volta para casa, para suas salas de estar. Ele nos mostrou nossos homens no exterior sorrindo e rindo, como se talvez, naquele momento, tudo estivesse bem. Voltando e assistindo aos clipes, sua sinceridade e carinho pelos membros do serviço eram palpáveis, e quando ele atingia o ponto final, a resposta era sempre um alvoroço de risos e aplausos. Suas homenagens foram reflexivas, dedicando tempo para homenagear e agradecer aos jovens para os quais ele havia acabado de se apresentar, mas também mostraram o tom da atitude de nossa nação sobre o Vietnã e como ele evoluiu. Seus primeiros tributos com uma crença geral de que esta seria uma guerra rápida e justa é o que muitos americanos também pensaram. E à medida que as sementes do descontentamento foram sendo semeadas aos poucos, os tributos lentamente mudaram para apelos, trocas e, eventualmente, empatia pelas frustrações de ver tantos jovens escorregando naquela “areia movediça”. No entanto, Hope nunca vacilou em seu compromisso com as tropas. Ele nunca parou de se apresentar, de ir a hospitais e de levar mensagens de amor e apoio. Sua última turnê USO foi em 1991, mas talvez uma lembrança mais adequada foi sua homenagem ao Kennedy Center em 1985. Hope foi agradecida por comediantes famosos, o presidente Ronald Regan e muitos outros, mas apenas um grupo o levou às lágrimas & # 8211 veteranos. Segunda Guerra Mundial, Coréia e Vietnã, tantos se levantaram para lembrar Hope da alegria que ele trouxe para suas vidas e as emoções rolaram por seu rosto. O último especial de Natal de Bob Hope terminou com uma homenagem adequada ao momento do Kennedy Center, onde ele afirmou suavemente: "Obrigado pelos Natais que nunca esquecerei. Boa noite." Hope estava honrando e agradecendo os membros do serviço, mas o mesmo certamente poderia ter sido dito a ele.


Fotos incríveis mostram o Bob Hope Show de Long Binh, Vietnã, no dia de Natal de 1970

Bob Hope foi um comediante, vaudevilliano, ator, cantor, dançarino, atleta americano nascido no Reino Unido e um artista verdadeiramente versátil. Com uma carreira de quase 80 anos, Hope apareceu em mais de 70 filmes e curtas, incluindo uma série de filmes & # 8220Road & # 8221 co-estrelados por Bing Crosby e Dorothy Lamour. Além de apresentar o Oscar quatorze vezes (mais do que qualquer outro apresentador), ele apareceu em muitas produções teatrais e papéis na televisão e foi o autor de quatorze livros. A canção & # 8220Thanks for the Memory & # 8221 é amplamente considerada como a assinatura de Hope & # 8217s.

Comemorado por sua longa carreira realizando shows das United Service Organizations (USO) para entreter militares americanos em serviço ativo - ele fez 57 viagens para o USO entre 1941 e 1991 - Hope foi declarada veterana honorária das Forças Armadas dos Estados Unidos em 1997 pelo ato do Congresso dos EUA.

o Livro dos recordes do Guinness chamou-o de o artista mais honrado de todos os tempos. E durante sua celebração de aniversário televisionada em 1993, quando ele completou 90 anos, o General Colin Powell saudou Hope & # 8220 por seu incansável trabalho USO & # 8221, que foi seguido por tributos no palco de todos os ramos das forças armadas. O general William Westmoreland falou sobre sua lealdade ao soldado durante os árduos anos do Vietnã. E o líder da banda Les Brown, que estava com ele durante muitas de suas turnês, mencionou que sua banda & # 8220 tinha visto mais Hope & # 8217s [bunda] nos últimos quarenta anos do que qualquer um da família imediata de Hope & # 8217s. & # 8221

Durante os anos da Guerra do Vietnã, ele deu uma série de especiais de televisão de alta audiência e sentiu que a mídia havia lhe dado um amplo endosso para continuar em suas missões de misericórdia GI. Logo após seu show de Natal em Saigon em 1967, ele soube que o vietcongue havia planejado um ataque terrorista em seu hotel contra ele e toda a sua trupe, errando-o por dez minutos. Ele ficou mais tarde & # 8220 mistificado & # 8221 escreve Faith & # 8220 e & # 8230 cada vez mais intolerante com os bolsões de dissidência. Queimas de rascunhos em campi universitários o irritaram & # 8230 & # 8221 & # 8220. Você pode imaginar? # 8221 Hope escreveu em um artigo de revista, & # 8220 & # 8230, que as pessoas na América estão queimando seus cartões de recrutamento para mostrar sua oposição e que alguns deles estão na verdade torcendo por sua derrota? & # 8221 Na primavera de 1973, Hope começou a escrever seu quinto livro, O Último Show de Natal, que foi dedicado a & # 8220os homens e mulheres das forças armadas e àqueles que também serviram preocupando-se e esperando. & # 8221 Ele cedeu seus royalties à USO.

Bob posa ao lado de Lola Lola Falana na entrevista coletiva após o Christmas Day Show em Long Binh. Fotos © mikerophoto

Bob, Gloria Loring, Jennifer Hosten de Grenada (Miss Mundo, 1970) e outros exibiram suas pulseiras POW na coletiva de imprensa após o Show de Bob Hope no Dia de Natal em Long Binh, RVN. Fotos © mikerophoto

Os soldados dão as boas-vindas ao elenco do Bob Hope Show de Long Binh no dia de Natal de 1970. Fotos © mikerophoto

Gloria Loring lidera o elenco e o público em & # 8216Silent Night & # 8217 Fotos © mikerophoto

Jennifer Holsten, Miss Mundo, 1970, Les Brown e a cantora Gloria Loring.Photos © mikerophoto

Lola Falana sobe ao palco em Long Binh. Fotos © mikerophoto

Lola Falana, Gloria Loring, Hope, Bobbie Martin e Jennifer Holsten, Miss World, 1970, ocupam o centro do palco. Fotos © mikerophoto

Público de Long Binh no show de Bob Hope no dia de Natal. Fotos © mikerophoto

Os Golddiggers dançam com Bob. Fotos © mikerophoto

Os Golddiggers cantam uma melodia. O grupo de cantores dançarinos se originou no Dean Martin Variety Show e excursionou com Dean em Vegas e outros locais. Fotos © mikerophoto

Os Goldiggers do Dean Martin Show sobem ao palco em Long Binh atrás de Bob Hope. Fotos © mikerophoto


Dos Arquivos: Bob Hope diverte as tropas

Ao longo de um período de 50 anos, Bob Hope entreteve as tropas americanas no exterior. Muitas das viagens da USO ocorreram durante o Natal. Os fotógrafos do Los Angeles Times frequentemente cobriam suas partidas e chegadas.

Na imagem acima, Hope estava embarcando em sua 13ª viagem anual de Natal de duas semanas às bases militares dos EUA.

Em 2003, o redator da equipe do Times, Al Martinez, relatou no obituário de Bob Hope:

. Seu rosto era conhecido por milhões de americanos de três gerações, talvez especialmente aqueles que serviram nas forças armadas durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial e as guerras da Coréia e do Vietnã.

O comediante começou a entreter militares e mulheres nas bases dos EUA em 1941 - começando em March Field, na Califórnia, perto de Riverside - e em 1948 deu início aos shows anuais de Natal em bases americanas no exterior.

Hope nunca foi militar. Mas em 29 de outubro de 1997, quando tinha 94 anos, ele se tornou o primeiro americano designado pelo Congresso como um "veterano honorário das Forças Armadas dos Estados Unidos". .…

Seus shows para as tropas - com uma comitiva de outros quadrinhos, cantores, dançarinas e garotas bonitas - duraram meio século, muitas vezes não muito longe da luta, ganhando elogios de Hope por seus esforços patrióticos e críticas por sua postura ávido durante a Guerra do Vietnã .

Certa vez, ele disse - exagerando no efeito ou no nível - que havia viajado quase 10 milhões de milhas aéreas entretendo militares americanos em todo o mundo. Ele encerrou seus shows regulares de Natal em 1972, durante os dias difíceis da Guerra do Vietnã.

O hiato durou 11 anos. Em 1983, aos 80 anos, Hope pegou mais uma vez a estrada, desta vez viajando para o Líbano, onde uma força de paz de fuzileiros navais norte-americanos e navios da 6ª Frota se reuniram para tentar, sem sucesso, conter o derramamento de sangue interno em Beirute.

O comediante entreteve-se primeiro a bordo de navios da Marinha ao largo da costa e depois, para surpresa de todos, desceu à terra para dar aos fuzileiros navais seu tipo especial de humor. Ele saiu apenas 30 minutos antes de o complexo em que ele apareceu ser bombardeado.

"Se isso é paz", disse Hope às torcidas, "vocês não estão contentes por não estarem em uma guerra? Disseram-me para não confraternizar com o inimigo, e não o farei. Assim que descobrir quem isto é."

Em 1990, o octogenário Hope estava no Oriente Médio torcendo pelas tropas na Operação Escudo do Deserto e depois na Operação Tempestade no Deserto, as primeiras campanhas lideradas pelos EUA contra Saddam Hussein. .

Esta galeria de fotos inclui algumas fotos da Associated Press de apresentações de Bob Hope no exterior.


A ascensão e queda do comediante Bob Hope 38:41

Para seu primeiro livro, Comedy at the Edge, sobre o standup comedy na década de 1970, Richard Zoglin entrevistou comediantes como Steve Martin e Jerry Seinfeld sobre quem influenciou suas carreiras. Ele diz que ficou surpreso que nenhum deles mencionou Bob Hope.

"Foi muito estranho", diz Zoglin Ar frescoé Terry Gross. "Isso me fez perceber como ele estava fora do radar."

Os comediantes, em vez disso, mencionaram pessoas como Lenny Bruce, Groucho Marx e Jack Benny. Zoglin diz que achou isso "injusto" e que Hope não estava recebendo o crédito que merecia.

“Eu sempre me perguntei quem começou o comédia stand-up”, diz Zoglin. "E eu realmente acho que você tem que dizer que foi Bob Hope."

Esperança é a nova biografia do comediante de Zoglin. Nele, Zoglin explica como Hope apareceu no rádio em 1938 e construiu seus programas a partir de piadas.

“Ele disse a seus redatores para lerem os jornais - criarem linhas sobre o que está acontecendo no mundo ou na vida de Bob Hope - seu jogo de golfe ou sua amizade com [Bing] Crosby ou algo assim”, diz Zoglin. "This whole idea of having standup comedy week after week that actually drew on the outside world was, believe it or not, something new. That, of course, is what every standup comedian does today, pretty much."

When Hope died in 2003, two months after he turned 100 years old, his "reputation was already fading, tarnished or being actively disparaged," Zoglin writes. "He had, unfortunately, stuck around too long." Hope was considered sexist and homophobic.

But if you examine the entirety of Hope's career, Zoglin argues, and view his achievements from a distance, it's clear that Hope was the most popular entertainer of the 20th century, having achieved success in every major genre of entertainment.

Interview Highlights

On how Bob Hope was the first comedian to acknowledge he had writers

He talked about his writers. He used them, of course when the jokes didn't go over, he would use . what they call in comedy "savers" — he would make a crack about the writers. I think it was part of his technique of enlisting the audience on his side.

Richard Zoglin's first book, Comedy at the Edge: How Stand Up in the 1970s Changed America, led to his curiosity about Bob Hope. (Howard Schatz/Courtesy of Simon & Schuster)

He was very upfront in acknowledging that he was an entertainer doing jokes, and that part of the fun of it was getting inside him, his anxiety of performing well. And when he didn't perform well, he would talk about the writers. And the audience laughed even harder at those jokes. So the comedy sort of worked at two levels: Here was a guy telling jokes, and here was a guy making a joke out of himself telling jokes, trying to tell jokes, trying to entertain an audience. I think that was something pretty new in comedy, too.

On Hope teaming up with Bing Crosby

Bob worked with Bing for the first time in 1932 at the Capitol Theater in New York. Bing was already a big recording star and Bob was asked to emcee a show that Bing was going to do at the Capitol Theater. They actually, to entertain themselves, they just decided to do some bits together onstage, just some funny, silly little bits together. And they worked so well together — they really loved working together. They then didn't see each other for five years because Bing went back to Hollywood where he was making movies and Bob stayed on Broadway for another five years.

He did a special in the '70s on the women's movement and it was so silly, so backward. . It was just awful. He was clueless at that time. That was why that generation of comedians turned off to him.

Richard Zoglin

When Bob went out to Hollywood in 1937, he got friendly again with Crosby on the Paramount lot and they became good friends. They entertained together at [the] Del Mar racetrack, where Bing was a part owner and Paramount executives saw their act onstage together and said, "Hey, these guys might work together in a movie."

So they geared up a movie that ended up being called Road to Singapore. This came out in early 1940 and it was just terrific. It was the highest-grossing film for 1940 in a year with a lot of big Hollywood films, and the audience responded instantly to the chemistry of the two of them on-screen together. They were relaxed, informal — they seemed to be friends authentically, not just movie characters. The movie was so much fun that it launched a series.

On Crosby and Hope's real-life relationship

They were friends and they loved working together, but they were not close friends. They were very different personality types. . Bob was someone who loved being famous and loved being out there as a star and he loved talking to fans and he was basically a happy guy. Bing was much more ambivalent about his stardom, I think. He was more reclusive. He didn't like the Hollywood scene he moved up to Northern California halfway through his career. He didn't like showing up at things. There was a famous Friars Club Roast for Bob Hope in the late '40s and every major comedy star — from Milton Berle, George Jessel, etc. — were there. . And [Bing] didn't show up. I think that bothered Bob a little bit.

At the end of his life, Bob confessed to a colleague, he said, "You know, in all the time I knew Bing and his . two wives, they never once invited me and Dolores to dinner." I think there was a slight bit of resentment there. I think also Bob envied Bing in the early years, particularly. Bing was more successful and Bing was a smart businessman. Bob learned a lot from him. I think that there was a little bit of a rivalry.

On Hope performing for the troops

Even before World War II broke out, Bob was entertaining troops domestically. . One day somebody suggested that he go down to March Field [now March Air Reserve Base] and entertain the troops there who were bored. We were not in the war yet, and Bob went there and got an amazing reaction. They just loved him. He could really connect with the troops.

And when the war started, Hollywood banded together and everybody felt they had to cooperate in the war effort. Some stars, as we know, enlisted and the ones who didn't enlist volunteered to entertain at bases around the country. Finally, when the war started to turn in the Allies' favor in 1943, the USO was able to start sending entertainment troops overseas.

Bob was doing his radio show. He wasn't one of the very first, but in the summer of 1943, he made his first trip over to Europe, Britain and the European theater in North Africa. And that trip was so amazing and he took risks. . There were still bombing raids going on. They survived bombing raids and the reaction of the troops — I mean, imagine you're a solider fighting for democracy overseas at a time when the country felt its existence threatened, and to see a big Hollywood star show up days after you've been in battle. That was an amazingly powerful experience for the men.

On how Hope alienated younger audiences

Bob Hope was the establishment. Bob Hope was friends with Nixon. Bob Hope was speaking in favor of the [Vietnam] War. Bob Hope was expressing that kind of backward, suburban, WASP view of minorities, homosexuals, the women's movement. Even his comments on the women's movement were very condescending. He did a special in the '70s on the women's movement and it was so silly, so backward. And [in his act] the woman who had some big political office was dusting the chairs in between her meetings. It was just awful. He got mail . from feminists.

He was clueless at that time. That was why that generation of comedians turned off to him. . It's hard to be [a] comedian and be part of the establishment because comedians, their job is to satirize and to poke fun at the powerful people. And this is something that Bob was — one of the powerful people. So just as a comedian, he became less and less relevant.


Find out what's happening in Lake Elsinore-Wildomar with free, real-time updates from Patch.

The USO, a private nonprofit organization that supports the troops, is celebrating the 80-year anniversary with a May 5 drive-thru meal distribution "to strengthen service members and their families by providing them with a delicious Cinco de Mayo lunch," event organizers said.

The meal distribution takes place at the March Field post office from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Military assigned personnel including Reservists, Guardsmen and active duty from all branches are invited to join. A valid military ID is required.


How Marvel Comics in the 1980s Refought the Vietnam War

Marvel Comics introduced the highly regarded comic The ’Nam, focusing on actions at the squad and platoon level in Vietnam during the main combat years, 1966-73.

Courtesy of the Jason Winn and Guy Aceto collections / HistoryNet photo illustration

Popular culture interest in the Vietnam War reached a peak in the 1980s, which saw a string of war movies like “Platoon,” “Full Metal Jacket,” “Hamburger Hill,” “Off Limits” and others along with TV series such as “Tour of Duty” and “China Beach.” Some shows, such as “Magnum P.I.” and “The A-Team,” although not set during the war, featured Vietnam veterans as protagonists. Comic books were no exception to the trend. Marvel Comics introduced the highly regarded The ’Nam mid-decade as well as Semper Fi, which featured several Vietnam War stories. Other comics of the era included In-Country NAM e Vietnam Journal.

In 1982, Larry Hama, an Army veteran of the Vietnam War, volunteered to write stories for Marvel’s comic book G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. Hama’s task was to create background for all characters in that comic, and he made several heroes Vietnam vets. One of the most popular characters, Snake Eyes, had gone on long-range reconnaissance patrols in Vietnam and some of the stories go back to his time there.

A few years later, Hama collaborated with writer Doug Murray, a wounded noncommissioned officer who served two tours, to create a Vietnam war story, “Fifth to the First” for the October 1985 issue of Marvel’s Savage Tales. The story was well-liked, and Hama suggested Murray submit a proposal to Marvel for a war comic set in Vietnam. To Murray’s amazement, Marvel accepted. Murray, editor Hama and Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter developed Marvel’s The ’Nam in 1986 as a highly realistic war comic written from the perspective of the average infantry “grunt.” oNam’s creators didn’t want a comic built around superheroes or indestructible Rambo-type characters.


Don Lomax, a Vietnam veteran, became the The ’Nam’s writer in 1992 and based stories on his own experiences. / Courtesy of Don Lomax

The ’Nam team decided to focus the stories on actions at the squad and platoon level during the main combat years, 1966-73, and present them in chronological order for a planned 96 issues, with each issue corresponding to one month in Vietnam. Characters would return to the States when their one-year tour was complete, and new ones would be rotated in to take their place. Murray wanted to attract and educate younger readers about the war, so he got the industry’s self-imposed Comics Code seal of approval, which gave distributors the go-ahead to send the books to mainstream sellers and let advertisers know they could run ads aimed at minors. But it also meant no sex, drugs and profanity.

In the December 1986 premiere issue of The ’Nam, readers met Pfc. Ed Marks, a clean-cut young man with a fear of heights who boards a plane in January 1966 at McChord Air Force Base in Washington, bound for South Vietnam. He was assigned to the 4th Battalion (Mechanized), 23rd Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry “Tropic Lightning” Division.

On his first day in-country, Marks goes to Cu Chi base camp, the division’s home, about 25 miles northwest of Saigon, where he meets a corrupt first sergeant expecting a bribe. Marks introduces himself to the men of his squad, who in turn, introduce him to the “you can tell its Mattel” rifle, a common reference to the M16 because it was lightweight and made of plastic components, like toy guns. Marks had trained on the older wood-stocked M14.

The ’Nam was noted for its realistic portrayal of war and addressing controversial topics, such as media coverage, war protests and racial tensions. / Courtesy of the Jason Winn collection

The next day Marks and his squad embark on a search and destroy mission that includes a firefight in a village. Back at Cu Chi that evening, the 4th Battalion men are watching Major Dundee on an outdoor screen when Viet Cong rockets slam into the base. Marks jumps to his feet, but no one else moves. His comrades assure him that the enemy won’t rocket their part of the base because the VC want to watch the movie too.

During his tour, Marks survives a terrorist attack at a Saigon hotel and combat actions in the bush. He accompanies a “tunnel rat,” a soldier who went down into tunnels hunting for Viet Cong hidden there. On one patrol, Marks and his squad are doused with the poisonous herbicide Agent Orange, used to clear vegetation that could provide cover or food for the enemy.

Disgusted by what he considers the U.S. media’s biased portrayal of the Vietnam War, Marks decides to study journalism and become a war correspondent. In issue No. 70, spring 1972 in the chronology, Marks returns to Vietnam as a journalist and his editor sends him to a firebase to cover the story of a Special Forces A-Team.

The ’Nam dealt with many topics and issues including fragging (killing officers with grenades that explode into fragments), prisoners of war, river patrol boats, downed pilots and rescue missions, war protesters and racial tensions, including fistfights caused by misunderstandings.

Although the main characters in the featured squad are fictional, they see real historical figures and events. Bob Hope and his ubiquitous golf club visit Cu Chi with a USO tour group on Christmas Day 1968. Ann-Margaret joins him on stage just as she did in real life. Actress Chris Noel, who risked her life visiting landing zones in forward areas, made the cover of issue No. 23.

Issue No. 24 deals with communist attacks throughout South Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive. The cover shows photojournalist Eddie Adams snapping one of the most famous photographs of the war: Maj. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a communist prisoner. The fictional men of the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, are ordered to Saigon where they help defend the U.S. Embassy compound. Afterward, they participate in the fighting at a Saigon radio station and later witness Adams taking his Pulitzer Prize-winning photo. Squad leader “Ice” gives his cynical response to the photo: “Front page of every newspaper in the States!”

The cover of Issue No. 24 depicts Eddie Adams snapping one of the most famous photographs of the Vietnam War: Maj. Gen. Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing a communist prisoner. / Guy Aceto collection

Continuing the story of the Tet Offensive, the next issue sees two fictional heroes visiting Marine friends at Khe Sanh in northern South Vietnam when the base comes under heavy attack. The two fictional characters assist the Marines as they retake Hue in one of the largest battles of the war. House-to-house fighting eventually puts the Marines in control of southern Hue and they discover a mass grave of civilians murdered by the communists.

Issue No. 29, which covers a busy June 1968, is chock-full of real people and events. It opens with the Paris peace talks while ensuing panels depict the heated exchange between diplomats Xuan Thuy of North Vietnam and Averell Harriman of the United States. At the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Sirhan Sirhan fatally wounds presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy. On another page, Gen. Creighton Abrams replaces Gen. William Westmoreland as head of Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, in charge of all U.S. combat forces in South Vietnam. In a Boston courtroom, Dr. Benjamin Spock is found guilty of encouraging men to violate draft laws.

In another issue, as Marks watches TV in the battalion’s club facility, CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite is reporting on the war. Marks observes that Cronkite exaggerates communist successes at Da Nang: “You’d think the whole corps was wiped out.”

The issue covering October 1968 pictures President Lyndon B. Johnson announcing a halt to all B-52 bombing strikes against North Vietnam. The 75th issue looks at the My Lai Massacre in a four-story, 48 page-special edition highlighting the March 16, 1968, atrocity involving 2nd Lt. William Calley and elements of two rifle companies who killed Vietnamese civilians.

Readers were unhappy when the storyline veered too far from the fictional heroes and were incensed when The ’Nam ventured into the greater Marvel universe in issue No. 41. Captain America, Ironman and Thor appear on the cover—but to be fair, the superheroes exist only in the imaginations of the grunts reading about them. Ice and Martini, another recurring character, daydream about what would happen if the superheroes were in Nam taking on the “commie dupes.” In their dream world, the superheroes snatch Ho Chi Minh, fly him to Paris and force him to sign the peace treaty.


Vansant grounded his illustrations in extensive research, setting his work apart from lack of realism in older comics. / Jason Winn collection

The ’Nam, noted for its historical accuracy and good writing, also enjoys a well-deserved reputation for highly detailed artwork. Several artists worked on various phases of a single issue. The penciler drew each panel. The inker went over the drawing with ink and maybe added more highlighting. A colorist then applied the colors. Finally, the letterist inserted the dialogue, thought balloons and sound effects.

Artist Michael Golden penciled 12 of the first 13 issues. Although the characters appeared slightly cartoonish at first, Golden set the standard for realistic detailing of military uniforms and equipment. Other artists worked on The ’Nam over the years, but Wayne Vansant, who served in the Navy during the war, penciled the lion’s share of the comic, drawing for 58 issues. Uninterested in superheroes, Vansant built his career on military history subjects including the Battle of Gettysburg and the Red Army in World War II.

Vansant grounded his illustrations in extensive research, setting his work apart from the lack of realism he saw in older comics. For example, a World War II Sherman tank that appeared in Marvel’s Combat Kelley e a Deadly Dozen might resemble a Sherman, but aspects of it are completely wrong. DC Comics’ Our Army at War, later titled Sgt. Rock, fared better with Shermans, but the detailing isn’t on par with the tanks in The ’Nam.

Many of the comic’s illustrations have details the casual reader might miss, but veterans appreciated. When the series begins, the men in the 4th Battalion, 23rd Infantry, wear the bright red “electric strawberry” patch of the 25th Infantry Division. As the war progresses, the bright colors of their shoulder patches and rank insignia are replaced with muted colors. Vansant drew the famous UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopter so finely that in many panels we can see the pedals and pilots’ feet through the plexiglass nose.

In another example, a soldier mails a rifle piece-by-piece to his wife in the States. She is seen holding up a metal part, which people familiar with the weapon would instantly recognize as the bolt assembly. One character, Spc. Daniels, the squad’s radio man, carries a realistically sketched PRC-25 backpack radio, with dials, knobs, switch and retaining straps visible. In some panels the cloth bag that holds the handset and spare antennas is visible.

Civilian products are also realistically portrayed. Ice carries a perfectly rendered pack of Marlboro cigarettes under his helmet camouflage band.

Vansant liked to model characters’ faces from real people. “I’ve killed off my brother-in-law lots of times,” he jovially claimed in Marvel Age, an in-house publication where contributors discussed their projects.

The ’Nam was much more than a kids’ comic book with interesting stories. Most issues included a letters to the editor section, “Incoming,” a place where veterans and civilians still hurting from the war could write about friends and family they had lost or how the war had affected them personally. The comic also mentioned veterans organizations and their reunions.


Vietnam Journal, written and drawn by Lomax, was also intended as a realistic representation of the Vietnam War. / Courtesy Don Lomax

Readers were not shy about pointing out mistakes, which Murray quickly corrected. But some comments put him in a fighting mood. One reader compared American GIs in Vietnam to Nazi death camp guards at Auschwitz and concluded that Vietnam vets didn’t deserve a “ticker tape parade.” In an angry response, Murray said there was no excuse for the way returning vets were treated and considered the comparison of American servicemen to death camp guards as beneath contempt.

Issues usually included “’Nam Notes,” a glossary of GI lingo and Vietnamese phrases, such as “Sky Pilot” (military chaplain), “Charlie” (Viet Cong, the enemy), “White Mice” (South Vietnamese military police), “Didi Mow” (get out quick) and “Titi” (a little bit). Murray listed the number of officers, enlisted men and weapons in a typical rifle company. He also provided the organizational structure from squad to brigade level.

In 1987, Marvel named a new top editor for The ’Nam. Tom De Falco took over as editor-in-chief in issue No. 10 (September 1987). The following year Don Daley became the new series editor, beginning with No. 21 (August 1988). The new editors wanted to make changes such as dropping the chronological order, branching out beyond the single squad and inserting Marvel’s popular Punisher character, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Marines. Those changes did not take place right away, but eventually caused Murray to leave. His last issue was No. 51 (December 1992).

Several writers subsequently joined the team including Roger Salick, who wrote a two-part Punisher tale giving the backstory of Frank Castle, aka the Punisher. Of all the Marvel characters, the Punisher seemed a logical choice for The ’Nam. The prolific Chuck Dixon came onboard for 18 issues and penned a three-part Punisher story in addition to a well-received five-part saga about the war’s mental toll on a Marine named Joe Hallen. Dixon’s writing typically carried a darker tone than Murray’s did, and he often focused on snipers and special operators. Most of his stories involved Marines.

The series finished with Vietnam veteran Don Lomax as the writer for 18 issues. Lomax had written and penciled another comic about the war, Vietnam Journal, published by Apple Comics. Impressed with Lomax’s work, Marvel editor Daley approached him in 1992 to write for The ’Nam.

Lomax, a draftee, served with the 98th Light Equipment Maintenance Company as a wheel and track vehicle mechanic from fall 1966 to fall 1967. He went to mechanic school at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland and finished second in his class.

“I graduated not knowing a spark plug from a CD850 tank transmission, but it didn’t matter,” Lomax said in an interview for this article. “I ended up in a chemical platoon among others servicing flamethrowers and patching fuel bladders in addition to convoying supplies up the An Khe Pass to Pleiku for the 1st Air Cav,” in an area of South Vietnam’s Central Highlands.

He also repaired typewriters, drove trucks, burned human waste and butted heads with his lieutenant. Lomax was a specialist 4 “with an attitude,” he said. “Being a draftee, my lieutenant didn’t expect me to toe the Army line. He often would threaten to bust my ass, and I would rip off my Spc. 4 patches and hand them to him. He would just shake his head and walk away. By the time I left Vietnam I didn’t have a patch or rank insignia on a single uniform.”

A fan of war comics, Lomax hoped to write one with more realism than those he read in his youth. “Being a truck driver, delivering supplies to a few sticky places I got the opportunity to listen to a lot of stories,” he said. Some of those stories came from men in special operations units “who told about the more freaky individuals they had run into out in the bush. These all became fodder for my Vietnam Journal and later The ’Nam for Marvel.”

Lomax brought back Marks, in issue No. 70 (July 1992), as a war correspondent with a journalism degree from Columbia University. Lomax also included “Stateside” shorts to tell the stories of several popular characters. Although the strict chronological scheme had been dropped, several flashbacks expanded on the 1968 Tet Offensive and the Battle of Hue.

Issue No. 76 features a touching story called “The Paymaster.” A lieutenant risks his life to deliver the payroll to troops at the front. The officer is totally dedicated to his mission, and the forward troops regard him as one of their own: a combat vet. When his chopper lurches unexpectedly, the lieutenant loses the payroll money, which he is responsible for. His new friends sign papers stating that they got paid, even though they hadn’t.

Lomax based that story on a friend. “It was a dangerous job, choppering in to make sure the troops got paid,” Lomax said. “He won a Bronze Star for valor. He took his job seriously, though at many of the forward support bases there was no place to spend it anyway.”

The ’Nam never made it to the proposed No. 96. Marvel executives axed the project in 1993, one year early, making No. 84 (September 1993) the final issue. Sales were down, and management wanted to focus on superhero comics.

The final story is told from the communist perspective. A 5-year-old girl sends a letter to her father, a North Vietnamese soldier who has gone south to fight the Americans. Through a series of strange events the letter changes hands many times and ends up with Marks, who is holding it in the last page of the last issue. The letter contains only a stick figure drawing of the girl’s family members beside their house and water buffalo.

When the series ended, Lomax was a freelance writer not under contract to Marvel. “One day Tim Tuohy [one of The ’Nam editors at the time] called and said No. 84 would be the last,” Lomax remembered. “Sayonara old stick. That was pretty much it for me at Marvel.”

One of the best war comics ever made did not have global conflicts like World War I or World War II as its canvas. It focused on ordinary soldiers in the ’Nam—and it was to a large extent created by Vietnam veterans themselves. V

Born and raised in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and surrounded by Civil War battlefields, Rob Hodges Jr. developed a passion for military history. He also writes literary fiction, science fiction and poetry. His books can be found on Amazon.

This article appeared in the June 2021 issue of Vietnã revista. For more stories from Vietnã magazine, subscribe here and visit us on Facebook:


Bob Hope gives his last show in Vietnam - HISTORY


The Golddiggers reminisce about traveling with Bob Hope to Vietnam and around the world between 1968-70.

"We were absolutely thrilled to be invited to be part of the most prestigious of all USO Tours. The Bob Hope Christmas Show! Understandably, some of our families were rather worried about us girls heading into war zones and as we were soon to find out, with good reason. Little did we know at the time, what life altering experiences awaited us."

Rosie Gitlin recalls, "Bob was amazing to work with, so kind and gracious. He practically adopted us, taking us everywhere with him. Whenever he received an invitation, we accompanied him. I remember when he was invited to dine with President Richard Nixon. Off we traipsed with him to the White House, where we performed for the leadership of our country, including a young senator, George Bush! Imagine our group of naive girls, from all parts of the USA and Canada, being treated like royalty as we dined at the White House. We had to pinch ourselves to be sure it was real! Bob opened so many doors for us and we were always treated First Class, whether visiting the King and Queen of Thailand in their palace or lunching with General Abrams in Saigon."

"We fondly remember his gift of laughter, how he was able to do four to five shows a day under terrible conditions, in the midst of a war in the jungles of Vietnam, yet always appeared refreshed. Dressed in the attire of the camp we were visiting and with his ever-ready golf club in hand, Bob gave his all for our servicemen and women away from home at Christmas. Susie Ewing recalls a specific incident in Cu Chi. "When we arrived at the base, which was knee deep in mud and rain, we heard what sounded like thunder. I was quickly told it wasn’t thunder, but gunfire, and we were to head for the nearest bunker immediately! I was standing next to Bob and heard him reply, ‘Don’t bother me with bombs right now I’m busy working on my cue cards!’ That was Bob for you."

Speaking of cue cards, we traveled with tons of them. Our cue card guy was a critical part of the success of our shows, recalls Sheila Allan. She goes on to tell a funny story about being in Italy and Bob wanting to make sure we saw as many of the sights as possible as this was our first trip to Europe and beyond. He hired a bus to take us to points of interest, in particular the Vatican. "We arrived at the Vatican in our travel wardrobe which consisted of a mini length black jumper and a jacket. Of course, the guards wouldn’t let us in, dressed like that. Being the resourceful girls that we were, we turned our jumpers around, pulled them down to an appropriate length, put our jackets on over our tops and sailed past the guards!"

We flew around the world in military aircraft, cargo planes with no windows. Jackie Chidsey recalls, "When we boarded the plane we were surprised to see the inside decorated for Xmas, tree and all, which really kept us in the Christmas spirit! I’ll never forget the moment when we were about to board a helicopter to take us from Lai Khe to Utapao and I noticed a lot of bullet holes on the Huey. My escort commented that the life expectancy of a helicopter pilot in Vietnam was only 27 days, after which I immediately asked him how many days had our pilot been flying!"

Nancy Sinclair recalls, "We were right in the midst of the war and it was not glamorous. It was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. Knowing our military guys and gals had their lives on the line, we knew how much seeing our show meant to them, so following Bob’s lead, we kept an upbeat attitude. We represented home. We visited the hospitals, too, and Bob always went into the burn wards where the soldiers suffered the most, but that’s where he drew the line. He wouldn’t let us go, trying to protect us from the horror of the casualties."

For Suzy Cadham, our Canadian Golddigger, the most poignant memory was on Freedom Hill in Da Nang . "We were all on stage closing the show and as far as I could see there were Marines, 20,000 of them, hanging from trees, poles, anything to catch a glimpse of the girls from back home. We looked out on the first rows in front of us, where the patients always sat, with their makeshift IV’s, gurneys, bandages and casts the wounded, for a precious brief time, laughing and having a good time. As always, Bob closed the show with everyone singing ‘Silent Night’. That day it was raining and we had slickers on over our costumes. Singing that Christmas carol under those conditions, far from home, well, believe me, everyone was crying, not just on stage. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house."

Even after all these years, The Golddiggers will tell you that this was the most difficult, but also the most rewarding, experience of their lives. Little did they know back then, how it would impact them forever. Today, when they run into servicemen and women who shared this time with them in Vietnam, it still brings back strong emotions.

Undeniably, it was our dear Bob Hope who made it all possible. Of his great service, he said simply, "We went because there were kids there who needed a show, and television made it possible for us to show the faces of thousands of kids in combat areas to their families back home." The Golddiggers are proud to have been a part of that history. "Thanks for the Memories!"

THE GOLDDIGGERS is a federally registered trademark and the exclusive property of
The Original Golddiggers LLC, a Nevada Limited Liability Company.


Legendary Comedian Bob Hope Dies at 100

Legendary comedian and showman Bob Hope (search), who traveled the globe performing for millions of American troops stationed overseas through four wars, has died. He was 100.

His longtime publicist said Hope died Sunday night of pneumonia, while surrounded by his family at home in Toluca Lake, Calif.

He is survived by his wife, Delores Reade Hope, his four children, Linda, Anthony, Honora and William Kelly Francis, and four grandchildren.

Hope's daughter Linda said his death was peaceful and serene, with family members, a priest and the doctors and nurses who had tended to him over the years around him.

"Dad had an amazing send-off," she said at a press conference Monday. "All of the family was together with him and he died peacefully last night around 9:30." She said the "good vibes that he put out during his lifetime came back to take him up."

She said she would remember her dad most for being "full of fun" and that "laughter and joy brought him the most joy."

A memorial service is planned for Hope August 27th, she said.

President Bush joined the nation in mourning the death of the comedian. "Today the nation lost a great citizen . Bob Hope made us laugh and he lifted our spirits," Bush said Monday as he boarded Air Force One en route to Pittsburgh.

"Bob Hope served our nation when he went to battlefields to entertain thousands of troops from different generations," the president said. "We extend our prayers to his family. God bless his soul."

Former first lady Nancy Regan said in a statement that “Bob Hope was one of our dearest friends for over sixty years — losing him is like losing a member of the family.

"Ronnie always said that Bob was one of our finest ambassadors for America and for freedom, spending his lifetime entertaining servicemen and women away from home and overseas, especially in time of conflict. He showed people around the world that American spirit and enthusiasm are unstoppable."

Senator Joe Lieberman also expressed his appreciation for Hope's humor. "I can't think of another person who brought more laughter into the lives of men and women, particularly service men and women," he said Monday. "I have the greatest memories. I want to join a united nation in expressing our gratitude."

Phyllis Diller told Fox News that her fondest memory of Hope was when she accompanied him to Vietnam to entertain the troops. She said they performed at a natural ampithetre where 20,000 GIs sat on the soil to watch. "He would look at them with such affection," Diller said of Hope. "I knew he generally cared about them and it touched my heart."

"I loved him madly, and he's at peace now," Diller said.

Comedian Pat Cooper spoke of his admiration for Hope to Fox News: "His talent had talent."

"When Bob Hope walked into a room, there was magic about this man," said Cooper. "He served more time in the service than serviceman. Christmas, Easter time, holidays. That's when he was in the trenches."

Actor and comedian Dick Van Dyke compared Hope with writer Mark Twain, saying they both had a sense of humor that was "uniquely American."

Hope's 85-year-old nephew Milton says he hopes his uncle is remembered not just for the jokes but also for donating money and time to charities. "All I can say is he sure made a lot of people happy," he said.

Known for his mastery of the one-liner, Hope was a true king of all media who during a career spanning eight decades rose to the top of vaudeville, stage, radio, movies and television.

Best recognized as the star of his own perennial television specials, which ran for decades and earned strong ratings even in his last broadcast in 1996, Hope had largely stayed out of public view in recent years, spending most of his time at his sprawling home in Toluca Lake, Calif.

Born Leslie Townes Hope on May 29, 1903, in Eltham, England, Hope was the fifth of seven sons of William Henry Hope, a stonemason, and Avis Townes Hope, a former Welsh concert singer. When he was four, his family moved to Cleveland, Ohio.

Hope began his historic show business career at the age of 10, when he won a Charlie Chaplin (search) imitation contest. His first stage performance soon followed in a Fatty Arbuckle (search) revue in Cleveland. Arbuckle, then a popular comedian, helped Hope and his partner George Byrne get booked in an act called "Hurly's Jolly Follies."

Hope was soon dancing in The Sidewalks of New York and debuted on Broadway in 1932 in Ballyhoo, which followed with a string of hits over the next four years, including his first substantial role in the musical Roberta. It was at that time he met a singer named Dolores Reade, who would soon become his wife.

But Hope didn't become a bona fide star until he appeared in his first of more than 50 movies, Big Broadcast of 1938, in which he sang the signature tune that would become his theme song, "Thanks for the Memory."

The film, starring W.C. Fields, depicts a race between two ocean liners. Hope plays a master of ceremonies for shipboard entertainment. As a plot twist, all three of his fictional ex-wives happen to be on board for the Atlantic crossing.

Famed columnist Damon Runyon cited Hope's duet with Shirley Ross as a highlight of the film, writing, "What a delivery, what a song, what an audience reception!"

The song was an instant hit and won composer Ralph Rainger and lyricist Leo Robin the Academy Award for best song.

In 1940, Hope made The Road to Singapore, the first of seven "Road" flicks with Bing Crosby, in which he created what has been called "a comic persona of transparent bravado, glib repartee and ingratiating mediocrity."

In a string of Paramount pictures — Caught in the Draft (1941), Let's Face It (1943), The Paleface (1948), Fancy Pants (1950) e My Favorite Spy (1951) — he tended to play would-be ladies' men who almost never got the girl.

Hope simultaneously honed his wit on radio. After guesting on Rudy Vallee's Thursday night radio program in 1937, Hope got his own NBC radio show the next year, going on to perform on 1,145 radio programs in 18 years. By 1944 his show was the top-rated program on American radio, competing with the likes of Jack Benny, Fred Allen and Edgar Bergen.

In 1950 he debuted on NBC television, but declined to do a weekly show. Instead, he opted for monthly and semi-monthly specials and a legendary franchise was born. The Bob Hope Special aired more than 300 times and remained a ratings hit through the '90s.

The specials featured musical skits by a bevy of celebrities as well as appearances by athletes, cheerleaders and other bombshells — always following an opening monologue of Hope's quips on the news of the day.

Hope is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the entertainer with the "longest-running contract with a single network." The book also calls him "the world's most decorated and honored man in entertainment."

Hope hewed to the mild side of comedy. "I think a long time before using a joke that's on the borderline of hurting someone," he said in 1975.

But despite his expertise with a joke, Hope's compassionate, humanitarian nature was revealed in his tireless, life-long dedication to entertaining America's servicemen and women. During World War II and the Korean War, Hope became a staple of USO shows, boosting the morale of more than 10 million troops.

"How do you do, fellows? This is Bob — this is Bob 'Command Performance' Hope telling each Nazi that's in Russia today that crime here doesn't pay," Hope joked during World War II.

Between 1948 and 1972 he shepherded 22 star-studded Christmas tours everywhere, from Korea, Vietnam and the Pacific to Greenland, Newfoundland and Alaska. Newsweek described him as "USO's perennial Santa Claus." The shows were filmed beginning in 1954.

Hope was given distinguished service awards from every branch of the armed forces. He also hosted the Academy Awards a record 15 times, beginning in 1960.

In his spare time, Hope was an avid golfer. In his prime, he averaged 15 to 20 celebrity golf benefits a year.

Hope had even died previously, at least virtually. In 1998, he witnessed his own alleged passing when a pre-written Associated Press obituary was released and members of Congress began paying tribute to him on live television. Other media organizations picked up the story before news of the comedian's survival — he was eating breakfast at the time — was revealed.

"When you live to 95, I guess these things can happen," said daughter Linda at the time, noting that the mix-up had occurred before.

In May 2000, Hope attended the opening of the permanent Bob Hope Gallery of American Entertainment in the Library of Congress, funded with a $3.5 million donation from the Hope family for the upkeep of the items and mementos — including 88,000 pages of jokes given to the library by Hope as well as letters, photos, videos and other mementos.

"His career pretty much parallels the history of American entertainment. He excelled in all the mediums," said Library of Congress spokesman Craig D'Ooge. The gallery is "both a history of Bob Hope and a history of American entertainment."


Bob Hope’s letters to American troops during WWII chronicled in book: It 'affected his entire life’

USAA hosts virtual poppy wall for Memorial Day

U.S. Army veteran and USAA VP of Brand Management Eric Engquist on the poppy wall going virtual for the second year in a row

When Bob Hope passed away in 2003 at age 100, he had conquered vaudeville, Broadway, radio, Hollywood, and even television during its infancy – but his greatest achievement wasn’t fame.

The star dedicated much of his nearly 80-year career to entertaining the troops, both at home and abroad, USO.org reported. Whether it was performing on the front lines, befriending injured soldiers or personally writing heartfelt letters home – he was committed to using his talents to give thanks for their sacrifice.

Earlier this year, Martha Bolton, a family friend who once wrote jokes for Hope, as well as his daughter Linda Hope, teamed up to write "Dear Bob: Bob Hope’s Wartime Correspondence with the G.I.s of World War II," which chronicles personal letters, postcards, packages and more sent back and forth among the comic and the troops.

"I found it very moving to re-read these letters again," Linda told Fox News. "… I was reminded of the scope of dad's involvement with the men and women he entertained, here at home and abroad. It reinforced the reality of how those relationships really affected his entire life."

Fox News spoke to Bolton about bringing the book to life and Hope’s great love for our servicemen and women.

The book 'Dear Bob: Bob Hope's Wartime Correspondence with the G.I.s of World War II' was released earlier this year.

Fox News: O que o inspirou a escrever "Dear Bob" agora?

Martha Bolton: Na verdade, começamos a trabalhar nisso quando Bob estava vivo. Eu tinha me deparado com as cartas que ele recebeu de G.I. ao longo dos anos e fiquei muito impressionado com seu significado histórico. Eu pensei que eles também deram uma olhada dentro de seu coração. E havia muito lá. Havia letras engraçadas, mas também letras comoventes. Abrange toda a experiência humana. E realmente mostrou a relação de Bob com os G.I.

Lembrei-me de que conversei com Bob e perguntei se ele já considerou juntar essas cartas para um livro porque eram tão incríveis. Ele concordou. Mas ele também disse que eles estavam tão próximos de seu coração que ele não sabia se conseguiria passar por eles novamente. Então ele sugeriu que Linda e eu trabalhássemos nisso. E nós fizemos.

E foi um projeto e tanto. No auge da Segunda Guerra Mundial, Bob recebia 38.000 cartas de fãs por semana. Portanto, havia uma montanha de material. E ele os manteve todos nessas caixas bancárias ... E, infelizmente, Bob faleceu. Mas nunca desistimos da ideia de trabalhar neste manuscrito. Sabíamos que um dia o terminaríamos ... Então nos dedicamos a esse projeto e ao processo de seleção de quais letras incluiríamos no livro. Mas estou muito satisfeito com os resultados. Eu acho, especialmente agora, todos nós estamos procurando por esperança. E essas cartas dão a mesma sensação que Bob deu durante toda a sua vida. Que vamos superar tudo juntos.


Assista o vídeo: Ann-Margret Recieves the Bob Hope Excellence in Entertainment Award